AIDS groups respond to possible California ADAP changes
Several California AIDS groups, including AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, Project Inform, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the Southern California HIV Advocacy Coalition, are urging AIDS activists and advocates to oppose a Republican-led plan to change California's AIDS Drug Assistance Program to implement a series of copayments for anti-HIV medications. The state senate and assembly previously agreed to fully fund ADAP in fiscal 2003-2004, but some Republican senators are proposing replacing $7.2 million in funding with a series of copays that would affect 4,820 of the program's 24,100 uninsured and underinsured participants. Depending on their income, these people would be facing annual copays of up to $1,800 or more per year. AIDS activists say that because people living with HIV generally take at least three drugs, and many need substantially more medications, the copay system could force some low-income ADAP participants to forgo needed medications because they may not be able to pay for them. In a press release the AIDS groups called the proposal "heartless," and they urged state senators to reject any proposed changes to the California ADAP system.